Quest for childhood 

(Memories of a small-town boy in the Sixties in India)

 

I

 

In a magical town, between

rivers crisscrossed

I remember a face,

a monsoon cloud

waiting for it’s call to rain

 

II

 

 

On a full moon night

who draws those blue curtains

a grasshopper alas had waited

its lifetime, and now it

must die in darkness

 

III

 

When it rained on tin tops

our stories started

a barren field, stars twinkling

and a gallop in my dreams

tuk-tuk, tuk-tuk, tuk-tuk

 

IV

 

She stood by the town-temple

watching pedestrians

her red vermilion defying

virginity, amongst saintly

scoundrels

 

V

 

A Koel must sing, for

monsoon has been declared

in small towns and

it’s people have opened windows

for a bird’s whistle

 

VI

 

At last a child came

panting huffing and in great haste

‘has a blue train just left?’

and we nodded in unison

pointing to a far far distance

 

VII

 

An old man sat

crumbled on a cane chair, watching

two mynas chirp at children

playing gleefully with dead snails

on unfinished roads

 

VIIII

 

She asked the most innocent

question ‘ when does it rain,

is it when a woman is bound for

hell, or heaven? ‘

a few men laughed again and again

 

IX

 

The rhythm of hooves and pebbles

splattered, a small town knows

what time of the day it is

for there is an accompanying

laughter

 

X

 

 

You must know a librarian and

a physician, a priest and

a beggar in a small town

the rest comes as neighbors

-a policeman and a lawyer

 

Raj Shankar Ghosh

03/03/2014

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s